High School Football Ban Proposal Under Attack in New Hampshire

Retired N.H. doctor says game is too dangerous for underage students.

ByABC News
October 25, 2012, 6:26 AM

Oct. 25, 2012 — -- A retired New Hampshire doctor and school board member has caused an uproar with his proposed ban on high school football, saying the game is too dangerous for underage students.

High school football is an American institution, so when Dr. Paul Butler advanced what many people believe is a radical idea at a sparsely attended meeting in Dover, N.H., the former high school football player caused a commotion near and far.

"We have a moral imperative to at least begin the process of ending this game." Butler told "Good Morning America."

"The literature is clear. This is a dangerous game for children to be playing."

The local news media soon got wind of Butler's idea, and coverage of his notion that the beloved Dover High School team, The Green Wave, has to go, quickly went national.

Big blows taken on the football field can be the equivalent of taking a sledge hammer to the head, according to ESPN. And it's not just in pro football. New studies show that minors who play high school football, even Pee Wee League football, are also exposing themselves to the dangers of head trauma.

"A game that uses the head as a battering ram is not a smart game to allow a youngster to play," Butler said.

Critics of his proposed ban include the school board chairman and the local newspaper.

Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has even chimed in on the subject, describing critics of football as "pantywaists who want to try to take the risk out of everything in life."

Butler admits that he lacks the votes to ban football right now, but given the mounting evidence, he adds, his proposal is a first step toward the inevitable.